‘I believe I can win’: Hidilyn Diaz all eyes on Olympic gold
MANILA, Philippines — Next year’s Summer Games in Tokyo could be Hidilyn Diaz’s Olympic farewell.
The Filipino weightlifting queen will be competing in her fourth Olympics and she feels it’s her time to finally get over the hump after a silver medal finish four years ago.
“I’m still continuing this journey towards the Olympics because I believe that I can win. I believe that God has a plan for me that I believe that I will win at the Olympic Games for the Philippines,” Diaz said in an interview with the Olympic Channel.
Winning the gold medal isn’t just for personal glory as Diaz hopes reaching her ultimate goal will also allow her to inspire more Filipinos especially the young ones.
“Everyone who competes in the Olympics wants to win a medal, but when I won silver I realized that I had become a public figure. Everyone was looking at me, and I realized that I have a responsibility to the Filipinos, and to be a good influence,” she said. “So that’s the power of being an Olympic medalist. You have the ability to influence the younger generation.”
Diaz is already 29 and as dedicated as she is in her craft, she knows there is an end to being an athlete.
She made her Olympic debut in Beijing in 2008 and retirement could be on the way in Tokyo in 2021.
“I hope so. Because I need life after sports. I don’t know what my body will say… ‘Oh, you need to rest. Your body cannot do it anymore’. As you age, you lose your ability for heavy lifting,” said Diaz, who has been training in Malaysia since March.
“I really want the degree because I already have an Olympic medal. But for me, you need the degree with the Olympic medal for you to influence more people, and to have more opportunities after sport. I can play sport forever, and that’s why I need to study.”
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